Another Heartbeat in the House

Written by Kate Beaufoy
Review by Cathy Kemp

As the layers within this story unfold, the reader becomes engrossed in the recent history of Edie together with the historical discoveries she makes while preparing her uncle’s house for auction in a remote part of County Cork. The last time Edie spent time at her uncle’s lodge was in the company of her best friend, Hilly, and she has many fond memories of those two weeks. Sadly, Edie has been finding it difficult to reconcile herself to having allowed a rift between them to continue for a year, and, since Hilly’s tragic death, she is suffused with guilt.

In the process of cataloguing the contents worth saving for resale from the house, Edie discovers a manuscript from the mid-19th century, written in perfect copperplate script. The story revealed over the course of her stay is intriguing. There are many references linking the tale with local landmarks, the gentry who owned large properties in the area at that time, and with the writer William Thackeray, who was known to have spent time travelling that part of Ireland at that period.

This compelling story is a good read, taking the reader seamlessly across the years, as the stories are unfurled and allowing some insight into the hardships from the Great Famine (An Gorta Mór) to the progress made by the early 1930s.